Thursday 18th April, the Community will be praying Vigils and Compline privately.

Let all guests that come be received like Christ…

Let all guests that come be received like Christ, for he will say: I was a stranger and ye took me in.1 And let fitting honour be shown to all, especially to those who are of the household of the faith and to pilgrims. As soon, therefore, as a guest is announced, let the superior or the brethren meet him with all charitable service. And first of all let them pray together, and then let them unite in the kiss of peace. This kiss of peace shall not be offered until after the prayers have been said, on account of the delusions of the devil. In the greeting of all guests, whether they be arriving or departing, let the greatest humility be shown. Let the head be bowed or the whole body prostrated on the ground, and so let Christ be worshipped in them, for indeed he is received in their persons.

When the guests have been received, let them be led to prayer, and afterwards let the superior, or a monk appointed by him, sit with them. Let the law of God be read before the guest for his edification, and then let all kindness be shown to him. The superior shall break his fast for the sake of a guest, unless it be a special fast-day which may not be violated; but the brethren shall observe the customary fasts. Let the abbot give the guests water for their hands; and let both the abbot and community wash the feet of all guests. When they have washed them, let them say this verse: Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui.2 In the reception of poor men and pilgrims special attention should be shown, because in them is Christ more truly welcomed; for the fear which the rich inspire is enough of itself to win them honour.

1 Matt. xxv, 35
2Ps. xlvii, 10 [O God we have received your mercy in the midst of your temple]